Four Decades Later

Cielo Vista Ranch’s long legal history

San Luis Valley
San Luis Valley residents have fought for decades to retain access to lands that include the popular La Sierra area, according to December 2018 coverage by the Colorado Sun. / LAW WEEK FILE
Before Colorado’s founding, a plot of land in the San Luis Valley was granted in 1844 to two Mexican nationals as part of the 1 million-acre Sangre de Cristo land grant. That plot of land’s ownership and access is now the subject of one of Colorado’s longest-standing legal battles after outliving water rights disputes and other decades-long natural resources litigation like that over the Two Forks Dam.According to a 2002 Colorado Supreme Court case, the Cielo Vista Ranch dispute can be summed up with the identification of a 1960 catalyst: Then-owner Jack Taylor fenced off portions of

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